In life, grinding noises is one of those things that can annoy you to no end - just like this case fan's sleeve bearing we have in the office.
Well, here's a quick fix, all you need is some lubricant - just about anything from leftover motor oil to fancy bicycle chain lube reinforced with Teflon but over at the CT Hardware online division, we have the Rewin RCX-400 handy so that's what we will be using for this example.
First, locate the fan. Do this by using your ears and verify by stopping the suspect fan - either by unplugging its power or if its slow enough, carefully rest your finger on the centre of the fan which will momentarily stop the blades. If the noise goes away, then you've just located the culprit. If not, keep looking.
Once you located the offending fan, remove it from the case and locate the label side. Typically all DC computer case or CPU fans will have a label side - carefully peel off the label which will reveal the fan's sleeve bearings. You'll only need to partly expose the bearings so it's not necessary to remove the entire label.
While it's possible to work on the fan while it's in the case, it's a whole lot easier and if you just remove it from the case.
Apply a drop of lube or a squirt of the RCX-400 with the included straw onto the bearings, being careful not to get the excess on the label area prior to replacing the label as the label adhesives will not stick on an oily surface.
If you do make a mess of the entire operation, wipe off excess around the label side with a napkin and some isopropyl alcohol or alternatively, you could use masking tape prior to applying the lube.
Reinstall the fan and enjoy your new found peace and quiet!
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